The Locked Room
blickwinkel 5 21.10.2022 LP/CD/Cassette
The Locked Room imagines a protagonist who experiences the outside world as an endless escape room, a place where, in the early hours, every passing tail-light, train in the distance, hunched bike rider or crying bird might be a possible riddle, leading to a passage or the discovery of a key.
Once opened, however, a room locked from the other side could just be the same room as the one you're in - only slightly different. And maybe the person wanting to break free is not you at all, but the sum or remnant of all of your online actions and conversations, a locked-in avatar whose consciousness wants to experience the real world, and real emotion with it.
"This album is about a struggle with the experience of reality, and about the places and zones where you cross over into a different territory. I tried to address these fixations on steel mandolin and gut-string violone."
Clues and conclusions, finding your way like a kid in the dark, virtual illusions and contemporary gaming culture all have their place on The Locked Room, an album of minimal, kosmische mandolin and violone music that documents the elegant collapse of our 21st-Century grip on reality.
© Jelle Martens
Ameel Brecht is a composer and experimental musician who explores his passion for esoteric tunings and resonances on a variety of string instruments such as steel mandolin, guitar and violone, resulting in what Ameel refers to as ‘metaphysical string music’. The Locked Room will be his third solo record, after Polygraph Heartbeat (Kraak) and 8-Infinities (Discos Transgénero).
As a composer, Ameel Brecht has created music for a variety of contemporary dance companies, for documentaries and for (short) films, the best-known example being his soundtrack for the third movie of Belgian director Bas Devos; Ghost Tropic (Cannes 2019).
Ameel Brecht © Jelle Martens
Ameel Brecht is also the founder of Razen, a musical project he started during his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. From its early days, Razen aimed at exposing the common ground between Early Music, spectral compositions and psychedelic improvisations. Starting off as a duo with bagpipe and reed specialist Kim Delcour, Razen gradually evolved into a larger, shifting ensemble. Now in its eleventh year, Razen has built an extensive discography with releases on various international labels (Marionette, Hands in the Dark, Kraak, Meakusma, three:four records, Deep Distance) and the band has performed all over Europe, from Fylkingen in Stockholm to Berghain in Berlin to the small church of Dranouter in Belgium.
1. The Locked Room
2. Two Steps Ahead of Heartbreak
3. More Real Paradox
4. Patterns of Birds
1. See Your Hands (Become Human)
2. The Locked Room on the Other Side
3. Like Moth to Flame
4. Marooned in Time
All music written and performed by Ameel Brecht on steel mandolin, violone and electric piano.
Recorded and mixed by David Poltrock in Schaarbeek December 2021, January 2022
Mastering by Taylor Deupree /12K
Artwork and layout by Jelle Martens
“More Real Paradox” & “See Your Hands”: I wrote these songs for S.
Thank you Pieter Lenaerts for the violone.